Regarding Roderer

Regarding Roderer

by Guillermo Martinez
     
 

Roderer is consumed by a lust for the unutterable. Rapaciously pursuing knowledge from a radical perspective in a race against time's ravages, he enters a private world of his own creation. While an also-brilliant classmate successfully forges a place in society, Roderer sacrifices all - friends, the girl who loves him, his family, and, ultimately, even himself - in…  See more details below

Overview

Roderer is consumed by a lust for the unutterable. Rapaciously pursuing knowledge from a radical perspective in a race against time's ravages, he enters a private world of his own creation. While an also-brilliant classmate successfully forges a place in society, Roderer sacrifices all - friends, the girl who loves him, his family, and, ultimately, even himself - in his increasingly implosive search for the one answer that could be his salvation. Regarding Roderer is a precise, harrowing novel of youth. An exemplary work of literature from Argentina, it shares many of the concerns of such Continental masters as Hesse, Fornier, and Mann, as well as such North and South American writers as Borges, Salinger, and Knowles, whose young heroes also sought the remarkable.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This brief, provocative first novel from Martnez, an Argentine who in 1982 won his country's National Short Story Award, tells of the disruption of a young boy's tidy world by a newcomer in town. The new arrival, Gustavo Roderer, is the same age as the unnamed narrator and challenges his comfortable position as the smartest pupil in class. Possessed of an otherworldy intelligence, Roderer quarrels with the very assumptions that the narrator has unthinkingly, and so handily, memorized and conquered. The story follows the narrator as he leaves his home village for college and, briefly, for war; the narrator's sister, who falls adoringly in love with the curious new boy; and Roderer himself, who stays holed up in his room, mysteriously compelled to rework the traditional systems of Western philosophy. The boys' relationship is subtly motivated by Roderer's need to glean any knowledge that the narrator-a walking guide to current trends in academe-carries with him, as well as by the narrator's panicked envy of Roderer's mind and his self-proclaimed mission. Most of the book's interest lies in the development-or deterioration-of Roderer; the narrator's voice, which seems sometimes selfishly recalcitrant, does little to generate interest in him. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In this debut novel, Martnez traces the parallel lives of two contemporary Argentines-a mathematical genius named Gustavo Roderer and the narrator. As the narrator enjoys the accolades of his scholarship and moves out into worldly endeavors, Roderer isolates himself in his mother's house and pursues his private philosophical inquiries. His obsession has a romantic appeal for the narrator's sister, Christina, who falls in love with him. Roderer, unaware of anything outside his own intellectual pursuits, including Christina's affections and his mother's concerns, becomes ill and dies from a rare disease that eats away at his internal organs. Although the story evolves adequately, the characters and the tragic theme of the genius as outsider are not developed enough to sustain interest. Not an essential purchase.-David A. Beron, Westbrook Coll. Lib., Portland, Me.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312113742
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/10/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.77(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.61(d)

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